February 11th, 2019: Song Challenge!
This week you’re invited to join in a song challenge! Let’s work on Wagon Wheel together — who doesn’t love that song?!
On Saturday, February 16th at 2:00 (raise your hand if that’s your birthday!) we’ll meet up on Zoom to sing it together! And of course if you can’t make it — no worries — I’ll make a recording of the event for you. And also, we’ll include it in a future sing-along.
Here are instructions and resources to improve your practice and make your experience more fun…
Click here for the lyrics of Wagon Wheel.
Here’s Darius Rucker singing it.
Here’s Old Crow Medicine Show singing it.
Here’s a cool story of how this song came to be.
Here (below) is me singing it (and modeling that it’s ok to have fun singing even if it’s not perfect!) You can use any of these recordings to practice with but mine is a little slower which might be useful, and it’s just one voice — no harmonies — and that can be good for learning too.
Whichever video you use, first, just try listening, or perhaps audiating. Notice the SHAPE of the song; where are the highest notes in any given line? The lowest? Which parts of the song have the same melody? Can you grab onto the “1” note — the HOME note?
Next, sing along with it. You can do this freely — just sing along and have fun.
Or, if you want to be more studious: Stop at any spots that feel confusing. Replay those confusing spots until you can figure out what’s going on. Then sing them a bunch of times. THEN start singing from an earlier place in the song and continue through the parts that you just learned, until they’re all working together. You’re embedding those tricky bits into the rest of the song.
Ideally, it’s great to go back and forth between both these ways of practicing. Loose & Free / Focussed & Correcting / Loose & Free / and so forth. I recommend starting and ending with Loose & Free — you never want to get too far away from the joy! If practicing ever starts to feel frustrating or too much like work, definitely move over to Loose & Free for a while!
Remember: Repetition is good! Repetition is good! Repetition is good! Repetition is how you build muscle memory around the melody of a song! All musicians need to rehearse and practice — everyone needs it!